Poor Mike Pence. Greeted with a friendly gaggle of actors who both recognize him and are willing to express well-meaning concern over the havoc he may wreak as vice president. Pity too Donald Trump, who now feels blindsided by the realization that the theater isn't somewhere he and his cohort can retreat from the consequences of their actions.
Trump's reaction is what ultimately makes the action of the Hamilton cast a Good Thing. The man spent fifteen months using his own bully pulpit in a far less kindly way. Read More
There is a special place in Hell reserved for Phyllis Schlafly. It is by no means the hottest or most painful sectors reserved for the Hitlers or Pol Pots. But it is a dismal one.
It is likely a gray, colorless room with no doors or windows. Before her are three buttons that provide a break from the endless, blood-curdling screams piped in from outside. Each button will briefly play a short slice of soulless elevator music chosen by the Satan's hand-picked focus group. Read More
The experimental hip-hop group clipping. have a new E.P. out. It’s called Wriggle. The group’s M.C. Daveed Diggs has recently become nothing short of a Broadway celebrity lately since winning a Tony for his role in Hamilton. The man is a phenom, an insane talent on the microphone. There’s no question about this. Diggs’ more usual fare with clipping. is, however, of a somewhat different fare. As I’ve put it previously, he’s far more Marquis de Sade than Lafayette, and clipping. fit right in with the insurgence of “industrial hip-hop” we’ve seen over the past few years that also includes the likes of Death Grips. Here’s the title track and lead single from the new E.P. Read More
There are a great many fun and entertaining ways one could celebrate the 150th birthday of Erik Satie. The Velvet Gentleman seems to cast such an omniscient shadow over modern music that he is almost invisible. This of course isn’t the only paradox he represented. Though Satie was indeed a unique eccentric who sought to explode musical convention, his philosophies resonate in even those most traditional, straight-laced and boring of today’s composers. In fact it is not far-fetched to say that his music is so universal in western composition that we often don’t even consciously identify it as his. Satie’s iconic Gymnopedie No. 1 was, after all, and in very stark contrast to his unorthodox predilections, used as a background lullaby in a BMW commercial. Read More
The world must know. The world simply must know, must be shaken by the shoulders until it collectively acknowledges that something like the Monks can exist. That there can be such a thing as “avant-garde garage rock,” and that it can be played by active American G.I.’s increasingly alienated with the army. It needs to know, fifty years to the calendar month after the release of their only album.
Ten years back there was in fact something of a surge in interest around the Monks. A documentary was made, a tribute album was put out featuring the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the Fall, and a few other recognized inheritors of the garage rock sound. Read More
There is nothing about that six second video that is not wonderful and beautiful. A diverse crowd of anti-racists – Black Lives Matter of course, but also supporters of Bernie Sanders, immigrant rights and anti-Islamophobia activists – jumping up and down and shouting Kendrick Lamar lyrics in celebration: they just shut down Donald Trump.
Trump supporters and other conservatives – as well as Trump himself – are now whining about “thugs,” and threatening to show up at Sanders’ rallies. Centrists and a great many liberals are wringing their hands about whether Trump’s “free speech” has been violated – as if Trump or his supporters have ever shown such regard for our right to express ourselves. Read More